Attention All Steering and Suspension DIYers! - Kia Forum

 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Attention All Steering and Suspension DIYers!

Hello everyone! so the ol’ Spectra started some slow leaks first from the power steering pump - now the rack and pinion connections as well. The leaks are very slow, so I’m getting ready for replacements and wanted to ask for suggestions and/or experience. First of all this is an ‘07 Spectra EX automatic with 247,xxx so please take the mileage into account. For the rack and pinion I’m looking at LKQ (salvage and aftermarket parts company) that has a rack and pinion with the inner tie rods from an 08 Spectra with 87k miles. It’s $75 and it’s less than 15 miles from me so I am fortunate enough to pick it up and inspect it beforehand.
Anyone have experience with salvaged parts and/or want to chime in? RockAuto has remanufactured for $175 after I send the core. Also LKQ has a 6 month warranty.
Now, for the power steering pump I have options. Again LKQ for an OEM part, rebuild myself, send it out to be rebuilt, or buy remanufactured. The price points are all very close ($50-75) except for rebuilding myself and the rebuild kit is literally $15. However, I am not a mechanic although I like to play one in my free time. It seems easy enough with just o-rings and rubber gaskets, but I’d hate to take it apart only to realize I’ve gone up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I will say that the ol’ Kia has never been to a mechanic. I’ve done it all from top to bottom. But, again, I’m not trained or an expert, I just have experience and a bit of know-how. Anyone rebuild or know someone who has rebuilt their power steering pump? Thoughts? You might be asking yourself, if you’re willing to rebuild the power steering pump why not the rack and pinion? From my limited research it seems that rebuild is not intended for a DIYer like myself, and the risk/reward is much greater.
Lastly, rotating the tires recently I noticed the outer tie rod on the front driver side was cracked/damaged. Now I’m wondering how far should I go with replacements? I was thinking L/R outer tie rods, L/R ball joints and L/R stabilizer bars. Again, factoring the mileage it’s more likely than not the front struts and coil springs need replaced, but honestly the ride is pretty good for the age and miles. Should I really go that far for a vehicle that might only last another 50k miles? Also, should I go for the whole control arm replacement instead of just the ball joints? the ball joints honestly do not seem bad, no cracks splits or tears but they are so cheap I wanted to have the experience changing them. I think it goes without saying I will get a computerized alignment after completion, but figured I should add that.
All thoughts and opinions are appreciated friends!

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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If I placed this topic in the wrong area I apologize, I recently found the suspension topic area, but realized it wasn’t model specific. Anyway just an update, it’s been a little over a month since I completed my little project and I have to say it was definitely needed. If anyone reads this and ever has any questions about the rack&pinion, control arms, stabilizer bar links and bushings, inner&outer tie rods or power steering pump, I’ll do my best to help.
This particular job was not exactly hard, but for an experienced DIYer with proper tools it won’t be. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how the rack&pinion is set up on the ‘07 Spectra for basically easy access and removal. The rack&pinion is usually a nightmare, but thankfully this was not the case. Took me basically 8 hours and I was going at a leisure pace and took some breaks. My wife is definitely pleased, the steering responsiveness is back and the ride is much smoother as well. I got all the parts from RockAuto (all the lowest priced economy parts) and all is well (for now anyway haha).
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